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#GoBlue is going to the College Football Playoff.
Jim Harbaugh and the No. 2 Wolverines (12-1) were in control of the Big Ten title game against Iowa, defeating No. 15-ranked Hawkeyes (10-3) Saturday night, 42-3.
Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara completed 16 of 24 passes for one touchdown and a turnover. Running back Hassan Haskins contributed two scores off 17 carries and 56 rushing yards — a solid night for the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns in a single Michigan Wolverines season (20).
On the defensive side of the ball, the Wolverines’ attack helped the team keep the Hawkeyes offense to a season-low three points. Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras completed only 9-of-22 for 137 passing yards, throwing no scores. The Wolverines nabbed a 67-yard pick-six to record the first points of the championship game.
McNamara and the offense got things started in the first quarter with a trick play that traveled from the quarterback, to Donovan Edwards, and landed with Roman Wilson for 75 yards and the touchdown.
Down 28-3 in the fourth quarter, and without a New England-like fervor to make a comeback, Iowa allowed Michigan to continue the onslaught of offense: scoring 14 points in the final six minutes of the contest.
The penultimate touchdown for Michigan, of their six total, came on a five-yard connection between McNamara and tight end Erick All. On the scoring fourth-quarter drive, Erick All proved he was capable of doing it all: out-running Iowa defenders to cruise down the sideline for a 43-yard reception to set up the touchdown. Despite appearing like the MVP on that lone drive, All only had two catches on the night.
For the night’s bona fide MVP, the Grange-Griffin went to defensive stud Aidan Hutchinson: who recorded a sack on Petras to continue his dominant run.
“The only defensive player in the Big Ten Championship history to win MVP: No. 97 Aidan Hutchinson,” declared Joel Klatt.
The Wolverines advance to their first CFP appearance in the last eight years with Saturday night’s win. Georgia, Bama and Cincinnati will vie for the top spot, alongside Michigan.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren delivered the hardware to Harbaugh and Co. — which also felt like a bestowing of the conference’s crown for years to come.
Based on the team’s post-game response, hinting at a heavy chip on their shoulders, the Wolverines now look forward to making a memorable run in the final four of the college postseason and stake their claim for the future of the Big Ten conference as consolation.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela